DEWA

Division of Early Warning and Assessment

UNEP and the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings

Antarctica Treaty Consultative Meetings 

In response to resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly, UNEP has been invited to participate in the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings (ATCM) as an observer. Following the entry into force of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty in 1998, UNEP has also been invited to participate in the meetings of the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) as an observer.

By participating in those meetings, UNEP is able to prepare the UN Secretary-General reports on "Question of Antarctica", as well as to assist those meetings in their substantive work, in particular through the submission of technical papers.

Technical papers submitted by UNEP are listed below. A number of these technical papers focus on biological prospecting.

  • An Update on Biological Prospecting in Antarctica and Recent Policy Developments at the International Level (2012)
    The paper provides an update on biological prospecting in Antarctica, as well as recent relevant policy developments at the international level. The paper aims to facilitate further discussions relating to this agenda item by providing an update on biological prospecting activities in Antarctica since the last ATCM. The document also presents an update on recent policy developments at the international level of relevance to biological prospecting. The paper was prepared by the United Nations University and the University of Barcelona and submitted jointly by Netherlands, Belgium, Finland Sweden and UNEP to the ATCM XXXV (2012)
    Report download (PDF 136KB)


  • Review of the Implementation of the Madrid Protocol: Inspections by Parties (Article 14) (2012)
    In order to assist Parties in furthering the protection of the Antarctic environment, UNEP and ASOC initiated a review of the implementation of the Madrid Protocol in 2011. As a first step of this review process, UNEP and ASOC presented an Information Paper (XXXIV ATCM/IP 113) on the annual reporting duty set out in Article 17 of the Madrid Protocol in 2011. This paper is a continuation of the review of the implementation of the Madrid Protocol by presenting an analysis of the inspections by Parties in accordance with Article 14 of the Protocol. The paper was prepared and submitted jointly by UNEP and ASOC to the ATCM XXXV (2012).
    Report download (PDF 1,167KB)


  • Antarctica Treaty Consultative MeetingsReview of the practice of inspections under the Antarctic Treaty and the Protocol on Environmental Protection (2003)
    To ensure the observance of the provisions of the Treaty and its Protocol, Consultative Parties may carry out inspections in all areas of Antarctica. This paper entitled "A Review of Inspections under Arcticle 7 of the Antarctic Treaty and Article 14 of its Protocol on Environmental Protection, 1959-2001" reviews past inspections with the view to inform the Consultative Parties on the practice of inspections and assist them in planning future inspections. The paper was prepared and submitted to the XXVI ATCM (2003) jointly by the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition and UNEP.
    Report download (PDF 1,268KB)


  • Antarctica Treaty Consultative MeetingsReview of the conservation status of Antarctic mammals and birds (2004)
    The paper entitled "A Review of the Conservation Status of Antarctic Mammals and Birds" reviews the conservation status of the main mammals and bird species occurring in the Antarctic Treaty area with the view to help the Consultative Parties in the revision process of the regime of Specially Protected Species. The paper compares the conservation status granted under international law to Antarctic mammals and birds with their actual state of conservation. The paper was prepared and submitted to the XXVII ATCM (2004) by UNEP.
    Report download (PDF 562KB) 





  • Review of the industry involvement in Antarctic bioprospecting (2004)
    The paper entitled "Industry Involvement in Antarctic Bioprospecting" is a desktop review on the extent of bioprospecting, their commercial value and likely trends. In particular, the paper aims to answer questions relating to which sectors use Antarctic genetic material, and what indications records of patent offices give regarding these sectors’ focus on Antarctic-based commercialisation. The paper was prepared by the United Nations University and submitted to the XXVII ATCM (2004) by UNEP.
    Report download (PDF 541KB)


  • Recent developments in biological prospecting relevant to Antarctica (2005)
    The paper entitled "Recent developments in biological prospecting relevant to Antarctica" is a desktop review on recent developments in bioprospecting in other fora that could be of relevance to Antarctica, in particular the UN General Assembly and the UN Informal Consultative Process on Oceans, the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the World Trade Orgnaisation (WTO). The paper also reviews trends in biotechnology. The paper was prepared by the United Nations University and submitted to the XXVIII ATCM (2005) by UNEP.
    Report download (PDF 164KB)


  • Antarctic Tourism Graphics (2005)
    The paper entitled "Antarctic Tourism Graphics: An overview of tourism activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area" is a desktop review on the type, level, geographical distribution and trends of tourism activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area. The paper was prepared and submitted to the XXVIII ATCM (2005) jointly by the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition and UNEP .
    Report download (PDF 1,057KB)


  • Recent developments in the biological prospecting (2006)
    The paper entitled "Recent developments in the biological prospecting " is a desktop review on recent trends in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries that are likely to impact on the use of Antarctic compounds. The paper was prepared by the United Nations University and submitted to the XXIX ATCM (2006) by UNEP.
    Report download (PDF 130KB)


  • Biological Prospecting in Antarctica: Review, Update and Proposed Tool to Support a Way Forward (2007)
    The paper entitled "Biological Prospecting in Antarctica: Review, Update and Proposed Tool to Support a Way Forward" reviews developments over the last few years relating to bioprospecting in Antarctica and reflects on future trends. It also reviews recent policy developments related to bioprospecting at the international level. Finally, the paper introduces a project to develop a prototype Antarctic Bioprospecting Database that aims to address existing information needs by assessing and documenting the extent of bioprospecting in Antarctica in a systematic manner.. The paper was prepared by the United Nations University with support from the Government of Belgium and submitted to the XXX ATCM (2007) by UNEP.
    Report download (PDF 153KB)


  • Database on Biological Prospecting in Antarctica launched in 2008
    A new database on biological prospecting in Antarcica was launched in Kiev, Ukraine, in June 2008. The database is the result of a cooperation between the United Nations University, the Government of Belgium and UNEP. The database provides details of research and commercialised products arising from biological samples that were sourced from the Antarctic region.
    Report download (PDF 777KB) / Link to the database


  • Biological prospecting: an update on recent policy development at the international level (2009)
    The paper reviews developments within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity relating to the elaboration of an international regime on access and benefit sharing, as well as recent work in the framework of the United Nations General Assembly relating to marine genetic resources. It also refers to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.
    Report download (PDF 373KB)


  • The role of ex situ collections in Antarctic bioprospecting (2010)
    The paper is intended to inform Parties of the Antarctic Treaty System in their consideration of the topic of bioprospecting. It provides a short review of the role of ex situ collections in Antarctic bioprospecting and a preliminary list of ex situ collections either consisting entirely of Antarctic biological and genetic resources, or containing at least some Antarctic resources.
    Report download (PDF 108KB)


  • Review of the Implementation of the Madrid Protocol: Annual report by Parties (Article 17) (2011)
    The paper is intended to inform Antarctic Treaty Parties on the implementation of the Madrid Protocol on Environmental protection. The paper addresses the annual reporting duty set out in Article 17 of the Madrid Protocol, which requires Parties to report annually on the steps taken to implement the Protocol.
    Report download (PDF 290KB)


 

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